If you haven’t been following the news around Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, the “Trump of the East,” you’re missing out on political theater mixed with wild west ethics. Duterte served as mayor in Davao City for two decades and took on the presidential role back in June. Since then, he’s been spearheading a violent and controversial war against drugs that is raising eyebrows according to CNN:
The crackdown since Duterte took office in late June has seen over 650 police killings — deaths Duterte and his top police officer, Roland Dela Rosa say are justified self-defense killings — alongside as many as 900 unexplained murders perpetrated by suspected vigilantes.
Duterte has also publicly accused dozens of officials and politicians of being involved in the drug trade.
One of the biggest critics of Duterte’s campaign has been the United Nations, calling for an end to “targeted killings and extrajudicial executions” by the government and noting that claims the killings are justified due to the illicit drug trade are false.
This bout of criticism did not sit well with Duterte, shooting back in an early morning speech from Davao City that called out the U.N. for criticizing without visiting the nation to see with their own eyes:
“I will prove to the world that you are a very stupid expert,” he said, urging them to count not just the number of drug-related deaths but also the innocent lives lost to drugs.
He then launched an attack on the UN and its members – including by inference the Philippines’ traditionally close ally, the US – saying, it could not fulfil its own mandate but was “worrying about the bones of criminals piling up”.
During the statement, Duterte threatened to leave the UN entirely, continuing to blast the organization for what he perceived as insults:
“You now, United Nations, if you can say one bad thing about me, I can give you 10 [about you]. I tell you, you are an inutile. Because if you are really true to your mandate, you could have stopped all these wars and killing.”
Asked about the possible consequences of his comments, he said: “What is … repercussions? I don’t give a sh*t to them…
“You do not just go out and give a sh*tting statement against a country,” he said.
U.N. Special Rapporteur Agnes Callamard has been the vocal party from the organization’s point of view, tweeting Friday her acceptance to visit and assess the nation’s efforts.
But it has yet to be seen if Duterte’s latest comments will have any effect on this offer or the efforts of the United Nations within the country. This would not be the first time Duterte has faced heat for his comments. He criticized the Pope’s visit to the nation before his election and referred to the US Ambassador to the Philippines as a “gay son of a b*tch.”